Everybody who has kids knows that unless you lock them outside all day, it’s nearly impossible to keep your house picked up, let alone do all the deep cleaning that a house regularly requires. However, it is possible to get a handle on your housework and keep it clean. Here are some tried and true, mom tested, kid approved tips.
- Set a schedule
Each day, have a goal of one thing you want to accomplish (Monday mopping, Tuesday, bathrooms, etc.). That is your main goal for the day. If nothing else gets done, make sure that one thing does. If you do one thing every day, by the weekend, your house will be clean, and you can relax and enjoy time with your family.
- Daily Jobs
There are three chores I do every day, no matter what. They are; take out the kitchen trash, unload & load the dishwasher, and wipe down the counter tops. Find your three things, and start off your day by taking a few minutes to do them. This will help your house have the appearance of being clean, and you will feel like accomplished something.
- Take Ten Minutes
Once or twice a day, take just ten minutes, and clear up clutter that has accumulated. Choose a time that works best for you; after the kids leave for school, when the baby is taking a nap, or when the kids go to bed. I do mine in the morning after my kids go to school, and in the evening, just before my husband comes home from work. That way, my husband doesn’t come home to a messy house, and everyone is happier.
- Enlist Some Help
If you have a busy week, and are unable to get all the chores done that you wanted to, take a couple of hours on Saturday morning, and have the whole family pitch in. This works best if you give everybody specific jobs. Even little kids can help pick up their toys, dust, and clean doorknobs and light switches. Even on weekdays, give kids one small chore that must be completed, even if it is just picking up their own toys and clothes.
- Monthly Chores
Have a monthly goal of one big job you would like to accomplish (clean the windows, organize the pantry). This works best if you set a specific day or week that you would like to get it done. If you have the time, try to get two things done a month. By the end of the year, you’ll have all the big jobs done.
- Clutter Baskets
Buy an inexpensive basket or bin for each person in your house. Put them somewhere where it’s convenient for you. When you do your daily 10-minute pick-up, you can put each person’s things in their own basket. Have everybody grab their basket and put their things away at the end of the day. This gives each family member some responsibility, and you’re not running back and forth to everybody’s rooms a million times a day to put their stuff away.
I hope these tips have helped you. For me, having a less cluttered home makes the environment feel peaceful, and me feel like I have at least some semblance of sanity. When your kids are little, you can’t expect your house to be spotless, but at least having it picked up will give the appearance of spotlessness in case your pesky neighbor drops by to borrow yet another cup of sugar, or complain about your barking dog (or screaming kids). As parents, we must remember that the most important thing is teaching, raising and playing with our children, so if doing those things well means your house is a little messy, then so be it. They’re only little for a little while.
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